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Keywords

 

Authors

  1. Tiedje, Linda Beth RN, PhD, FAAN

Abstract

This work focuses on an emerging concept in nursing ethics-moral distress. Unlike an ethical dilemma where one does not know the right thing to do, in contrast, moral distress occurs when one knows the right thing to do but is constrained by the institution or one's coworkers in doing it. Moral distress is a process that involves recognition that a decision is difficult to act upon; the experience of emotional distress inherent in that situation; choosing strategies; and then acting. Whistle blowing and collaborative practice models both provide strategies for moral action in moral distress situations. Less dramatic and quieter forms of moral action will also be examined. Finally, developing the strength to move from moral distress to moral action will be discussed, as well as research implications for this emerging ethical issue.